An Israel-Palestine “peace” mural that was defaced with graffiti has been painted over with black paint.

The painting in Old Street, Shoreditch, showed two small girls side-by-side, one in a hijab holding an Israeli flag and a teddy bear, and another in dungarees with a Palestinian flag.

Circle of Toys, an initiative to help gift disadvantaged children toys, had revealed that it was behind the new mural, which covered a brick wall of a TfL-owned building.

Writing on the image read – “Toys4Peace” and “”.

Circle of Toys has already sent thousands of pre-loved toys to Ukrainian children and said it hoped the new mural would help children affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

But on the morning of February 27, the mural was defaced with red spray paint. The graffiti said: “Palestinian children killed since 07.09.23 – 11, 500. Funded by your taxes. Murder is murder.”

While the date is wrong, the words reference the number of children killed in the Gaza strip since October 7 last year.

Israel has carried out an extensive military campaign in the enclave after Hamas launched attacks across the border.

TfL has now said that it has removed the mural “in a considerate way” to avoid encouraging anti-social behaviour.

A picture shared by the BBC appeared to show the entire mural now covered with black paint.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We are aware that a mural had been painted on a wall forming part of our estate in Old Street and subsequently defaced.

“We have discussed with the charity who installed the mural, and now removed it in a considerate way so as not to encourage any antisocial behaviour.”

Circle of Toys founder Arthur Corvin-Powells had previously claimed that the purpose of the mural was to highlight the innocent lives lost through conflict, and to give people “the means to help out”.

He said: “Just think, if every child in a difficult situation grew up knowing that someone out there cared enough to send them a toy, couldn’t that make the world a little better?

“But for that to happen, we need to find as many gift-givers to ensure every child can feel that love. 

“We have enough toys in the world to make this happen, yet most end up being thrown away. But, one child’s outgrown toy is another’s treasure and a symbol of peace and pure joy.”